Sunday, July 13, 2014

Nepal

Only if joint family holidays were like getting into a big bus, Hum Saath Saath Hain style, singing the alphabet while looking at the chacha get out of the sun roof and shout proclamations of love, would life have been a Bollywood movie. But, this is real life. And joint family holidays mean flying SpiceJet and heading to Nepal, which can get way more embarrassing than Salman Khan playing a doting son alongside Munish Behl as the achhai ki murti.

I’m really glad I gave away, in the title itself, the destination to which we went holidaying last month. A build up to tell someone about planning a vacation to Nepal is never worth it. ‘Cuz my Punjabi peeps don’t care to ask for the name of the destination straight away. I don’t know if it’s just a poor knowledge of geography, but the first question always is if you’re vacationing India mein kahin ya abroad jaa rahe ho? And, this, my friend, is a trick question when it comes to Nepal. Because if you say “abroad”, and then follow it up with “Nepal”, be sure to have your friend open his mouth wide and laugh at your face, metaphorically telling you that you’re just as pathetic as the dhaniya stuck in his teeth for equating Nepal with what he really meant by “abroad”. And if you consider it a domestic destination, it’s just geographically incorrect. There’s no abroad or domestic, here. It’s just Nepal!

We took an 08:30 flight, expecting breakfast to be served on board, because no matter how shit airline food is, how else do you pass time on an airplane full of Indians, half of whom want to use the washroom only because they’ve never seen an airplane toilet. I mean, over fifty people wanting to pee in a flight that is a little over one hour long is beyond me! But, I had forgotten how SpiceJet also belongs to a full-bred Indian masala lover, who wouldn’t classify it as an international flight and be a little more generous with his services on the airplane with free food. Instead, the menu card displayed two samosas priced at hundred bucks and other such, which made us all turn to the cake rusk and Haldiram’s Badam Lachha kept carefully in the cabin baggage. Passing the packets of food to the cousins, over your head, across to the row behind you; and then rotating it across the aisle and back was all it took to pass time till we hit Nepal. Summoning the air-hostess and requesting for a glass of water to spend five minutes seemed like too much of a time waste after the crew captain was honest enough to announce that our crew for the day comprised Swarn Kumari, Radhika Devi and Shamim Begum. No kidding!

The most striking thing about Kathmandu is that it looks and feels exactly like Pahar Ganj. Also because everywhere you go, your desi parents will look at the white people walking and exclaim: “Hippie hain saare”. Shopping makes no sense because “Sadar Bazaar mein aadhe daam ka mil jaayega”. Except cars, which are so damn force-you-to-sell-your-kidney that a second hand Maruti 800 costs over a million. And god, if you have a Honda City, you’ll be driving a 7-Series in India!

There are some really nice temples and Buddhist Stupas to check out in Kathmandu too, but along with Namyoho-renge-kyo, other words being mumbled constantly are: “Abey, yeh Mall Road jaisa nahin hai? Saale, har hill station pe Tibetan Market khol rakhi hai.

Among the Nepalese food items to try, there was one called “Jeri-Swari”, which is basically a Jalebi wrapped in a poori, and that’s it! The only reason it deserves a mention here is because I’m trying to do justice to the name of the blog. Momos seemed like the staple street food item, much like in Delhi, except that the family, including myself, seemed really disappointed with the quality of momos because “Abbey, paneer wale momos nahin hai kya? Tandoori momos? Yaar, South Ex mein itne zyada better milte hain.” The traditional Newari food is mostly daal-bhaat, but the most amazing food experience in Nepal is the complimentary American breakfast at your hotel because what really fills a young desi stomach and ego is Instagramming one’s food at a five star café, hashtagging Nepal.

Instagramming reminds me how the chacha went all: “Yaar, yeh sirf buildingon aur pahaadon ki photo kheech raha hai. Photo mein khud bhi toh khada ho!” and then forced yours truly to stand in front of different landscapes and monuments, wanting to have a million pictures clicked by the end of the trip which will all turn out embarrassing because when an elder family member clicks pictures, you just smile awkwardly towards the camera, curbing the urge to pose like you do with your friends. Except, those will be really embarrassing postures to expose your family to. Let’s just say it’s all cool. You can make your sister click three thousand pictures of you posing in the hotel room and in the swimming pool, because why else do you go on a holiday! It’s clear from the priority list while packing for the trip as the swimming costume always ranks at the top.

The second city to visit in Nepal, and the biggest tourist attraction in the country after Mount Everest for adventure tourists is Pokhara. It has a beautiful lake enclosed between some wondrous mountains, which will inspire you to start a Facebook Photography page and at the same time challenge you to click beautiful pictures for your album by ensuring that the kachra on the shore doesn’t get into the range of the view finder. Inspired by the likes of Kashmir, Nepal goes beyond the level of natural beauty that the best mountain destinations in India have to offer. And, it ups the ante for littering the best of God’s creations too. After all, it’s full of Indian tourists on honeymoon all year round.

During my trip, I also got to learn of some cool Newari words, one of which is the word for “no”, and it’s none other than “mwah”, which is like the most epic thing ever! Because it makes saying no for everything and to anyone so easy; except to some people making lewd remarks to you on the roads. Where, it would just be confusing! Best bet in such a scenario is to go full ma-behen.

All in all, my trip to Nepal was fun, checking out the beautiful paintings in our hotel, reading an ebook while lying on the hammock at our resort and not getting a picture clicked at that time because a real paperback in hand would have looked better in that setting. The hours spent getting pictures clicked in the swimming pool and then selecting which ones to put up on Facebook from my hotel room: Bliss!


Image Source: onegreatdewdrop.blogspot.com

6 comments:

  1. I guess it is om mani padme hum rather than namyoh renge kyo, due to the country's history and relation with tibet, correct me if i am wrong. anyways nice post @@@

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  2. I think this is why I've lost my taste for family holidays. No matter where we go, at the end of the trip, we realise that the most exciting thing we've done is to take a dip in the hotel's swimming pool. Unless it's a beach holiday, in which case said dip was likely taken at the beach.
    Yes, yes, the scenic beauty was amazing, but since we skipped all activities that dad termed as 'dangerous', clicking landscape pictures was all we did, and, let's face it, I couldn't be bothered to spot the difference between the snow-capped peaks of Shimla and Ooty.

    Ugh, don't mind my little rant; I'm kind of sour for not getting a vacation this year. But I'm glad at least someone had fun.
    Loved the 'mwah' part, by the way! This little 'what I did this summer' post of yours is rather riddiculously funny. Keep writing. :)

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    Replies
    1. Hahaha. Bubbly! :D

      Yaar, we're all so desi like that. It's a crucial year for you in school, no? Make plans for after March. I'm with your parents on this one. Though, I went holidaying right in the beginning of 12th grade :P

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  3. Yeah, I know. I can't really complain, to be honest. I was the one who decided not to go for a vacation. My parents would probably have jumped at the first sign from me.
    After March wouldn't exactly be free, would it? There'll be all the entrance stuff going on. But yeah, I get what you mean. Beta abhi padh lo agle saal maze karna. Honestly, that hope is the only thing keeping me sane right now. Haha. :P

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If you had 5 Jalebis, how many would you give me for writing this post?

None = You don't deserve any >:O
@ = Soggy and stale! :(
@@ = Stale! :|
@@@ = I'll need a samosa to digest this with! :P
@@@@ = Sweet and Crisp! :)
@@@@@ = I'm opening you a Halwai Shop! :D